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Positive stories of siblings with 4-7 year age difference? - Page 3

post #41 of 64
my DC are 4.5 years apart and DS adores his baby sister and is very protective and loving. he loves to read to her, help her dress or turn on her favorite shows on TV. he is a good older brother. sometimes he can be a jerk to her, but sometimes we are all jerks. KWIM?

all in all it's a very positive relationship. part of it i think is how the parents handle it. if there is a lot of shaming going on about how the older child is acting and feels, the older siblings feels horrible about him/herself and translates that into bad feelings for the younger sibling. there are 3.5 years between my brother and i and it's obvious that he resented every moment my parents spent with me and took it out on me for many years in a hateful and abusive way. i believe if we had had different parents, they would have helped him with his feelings and he wouldn't have abused me.
post #42 of 64
My sister and I are almost 8 years apart, and I think it was a fabulous arrangement for both of us. I got to play "grown-up" and I loved that. She's almost 18 now, and we get on like peas and carrots- we're super close and have been always.
post #43 of 64
I like four years apart!

My sister is four years younger than me, and our brother is four years younger than her (so eight years younger than me). When we were growing up, I played with my sister but not my brother. I think eight years apart AND different genders makes it tough to have much of a traditional "play together" childhood. I also resented babysitting him when I wanted to be out with my friends (when I was 13 or 14).

But my brother gave me away when I got married (our parents had both passed away) and my sister was my maid of honor. They both lived with us for a couple of years, starting just after we got married. They chose to live near us (my brother lived across the street for years, and is now ten minutes away - my sister lived less than a mile away, and is now about an hour which breaks my heart but she loves where she is). We are very, very close. ADORE them both. Our youngest is named after my sister.

We purposefully had our dd1 and dd2 four years apart 'cause it worked so well in my family (dp grew up an only). Each kid gets their own one-on-one time, and it is easier for the parents too. When dc2 arrives, dc1 is ready for more independence - preschool, day trips and overnights with Auntie, etc. Old enough to be a real help, quiet when need be, fetch a diaper, answer the phone when you're nursing and can't reach it, understands and is able to wait a bit for help.

AND you space college (and hopefully wedding) costs out a bit! Having three kids with a year spacing between would be really rough when they got to college age, or even costs for preschool, camps, etc. My dd2 will just be going into college as dd1 graduates.

They also don't need to compete for the same friends, the same sports teams or band chairs or drama casts. They each have their own. It is easier to truly be happy for your sister making homecoming court when you weren't up for it too. Easier to accept being on JV if your little sister isn't playing varsity. Siblings I knew who were only a year apart had those issues, and I was happy not to have them with my sister.

So I vote TTC right now - timing is perfect!! You never really feel as completely ready as you did the first time IME. You just have to jump!
post #44 of 64
Mine are 4 years apart, for similiar reasons to your's. I was terrified but guess what? That first year was WONDERFUL. : Much better than I could have dreamed. My 2nd slept better than my first, my first adored his baby sister to pieces but was old enough to be in school a few mornings a week so he had time not to just be the big brother and I had time to be with the new baby like I had with him for so long. He loved to help with her and there was no jealousy at all early on, he really felt like she "belonged" to him as us. He was old enough to take care of some things on his own, old enough to understand he may have to wait a few minutes, old enough to go on his own 'special' outings with Dh or my mom.

I doubt anything is ever "perfect" and of course they've gone through some bumpy stages, but that's due to their vast personality differences as much as age differences.

I, personally, do not know how anyone can hand more than one "baby" (i.e. very dependent being) at a time. I think I would have been committed. I am very much a "One Baby at a Time" kind of person.
post #45 of 64
There are nine years between my mum and her brother, and some of her fondest childhood memories are of taking him to the movies once a week, and playing games with him.
post #46 of 64
I don't have any parenting experience with this (just have DD who is only 4 months old), but my sister and I are 5.5 years apart. We were very close growing up together...at times we were each other's best friends.

My mom made sure I was very involved in the pregnancy. She did stuff like take me to her OB appointments, talk to me about names for my sister (letting me help pick out a middle name), and she bought me a realistic newborn baby doll that had a matching outfit with my soon-to-be born little sister. These things really helped a lot. My sis and I drifted apart in college, but since we've both had families, we talk to each other a lot.

My mom is about 12 years older than her youngest sister. They hardly knew one another growing up (Mom moved out at 17). As adults, though, they are closer to each other than the other 3 siblings (1 brother and two sisters) who are between them.
post #47 of 64
I don't have a bigger age gap yet - as trying to have a second child is proving really difficult for us ... But here is my take on it...

We decided to have a bigger age gap. There are many things I feel important that having a smaller age gap would have compromised for us. Such as breastmilk for example - you can't gurantee you will keep it during pregnancy (only something like 30% of woman do - and that also does not mean you will always keep it during all pregnancies if you kept it for one and decided to go for more children than two...) - So having a small age gap to me, where the breastmilk my first child (I feel rightly is theirs) could be compromised (causing them to wean far too early for their many needs) is not something worth risking to me. You also have to think about the common sense things... Oh no - my two year old is in a very emotional state (aka 'tantrum') and my baby is wailing and needs feeding and pottying ...who gets ignored whilst one is sorted out because there is only one of me and two very small children with very real immediate needs on my hands! (I am not saying its the end of the world or you are a bad parent if you have two children with a small age gap by the way - these are my thoughts and opinions and ideals for my family) - But for me, this wouldn't sit right. This for me, is not a compromise I felt I would be happy with making. With an older child and a baby is very different (and I don't need to have two of my own to know this - I currently am a nanny for various children and babies of various ages and I have loads of friends with children we spend a lot of time with - its common sense really). An older child can listen (an hear!) you more, your relationship/attachment/bond with them is pretty much established/set/good connection/etc, they have that much more understanding and patience - their needs are not as immediate as a babies needs are so asking them to 'hold a sec' whilst you meet the babies needs (and their understanding of this is good too - my DS by three knew that a babies needs must be met immediatly) is possible (in a calm harmonious way for all the family! hehe). Of course - when a child reaches this point in their life will vary. From my experience girls reach this point a bit sooner than boys. So for this reason I personally never felt comfortable with assuming where my child would be in '9 months time' - I would have regreted assuming my DS was going to change in a way that would suit me and having a new baby during the 9 months of pregnancy - and him not. I do not think it would have been fair on me to assume as it can put pressure on a child to change and perform beyond their abilities.

Your childrens personalities and how you are as a parent is what makes or breaks your childrens relationships - not how close or far apart they are in age! Do not bank on anything when it comes to the unpredictable. This is mostly because you have no idea what kind of baby you will have next. Your first may have been high needs, but your second may not be - or the other way around! And personality varies so much from family to family! I point this out because most people who want the small age gap seem to be banking on this and it is just not something you can gurantee. Your child may be good friends and they may not be. I personally am not having another child to be my first childs friend/playmate. If they get on - great! If they don't, it isn't the end of the world - my DS has plenty of his own friends. Sure, he will be (devlopmentally) in a very different world from their baby sibling - but I at least feel my life will be easier (having to deal with one baby at a time and giving that baby at the time the one on on attention the need from me) making me a better parent to my children (because its important to factor in your personality and needs as well - and be realistic about this as some people are good at stretching themselves thin and some people are not - I am not! lol), which can only help!

The only 'cons' I can think of are (the ones people usually mention when the 'age gap' threads come up!):

1). You will have to go through it all again ...that is, the 'baby' stuff - and being a 'parent' will last long - that is, you can't bank on retiring (as parents lol) at 35 with children off at Uni so you and your other half can travel the world and be 'free'. Though I personally really enjoyed this and am not in a rush to get it done and over with (and if you are already older when you had children, you don't have much choice in this anyhow) so I don't mind having to go through it all again even if I don't end up having another child until my DS is 18 and moved out of the house! lol So I do not feel this is really a con!

2). Arranging activities might be difficult. But it is not really. (assuming) there are two parents here - so there is always a parent to be there with a child if needed...like say if you take a trip to Disney Land! Little one number 2 can go on the dumbo rides with you and big number one can go on the roller coasters with Daddy - not that hard honestly. Perhaps this takes a more organised person - but I certianly have that covered (I am an OCD Virgo after all! lol) - so if you are not very organised, I suggest you work on it! hehe

Other than that - I have never heard of any other 'cons' to a bigger age gap.
post #48 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Devaya View Post

One thing I think about though, is an aspect that affects the mother (parents) more than the children - the fact that the whole period of being really responsible for children, is more extended than if your children are close in age. That is, I fear that I could just be starting to spread my wings a little and start having more time for my career (I'm currently a SAHm but don't plan to be forever), when I will prob get pregnant and start all over again. To mama's who've done it, isn't it hard going back to that complete loss of freedom again?
To a degree. But my experience has been colored by work status and age as well a the gap between kids. I was a sahm with the girls and a ft wohm when Dylan was born. And there is a big difference between a 32 yo mom and a 46 yo mom with a toddler. Dylan got a mom who didn't get down on the floor to play or who'd run after him down the sidewalk. Fortunately, he was easy to fit into dc and work schedule. But it did make one more thing to think about.

And the age gap has gotten harder as Dylan has grown. 2 of his sisters are now moms and interact with him as moms instead of as sisters. It's a natural progression of life but one that's hard on an 11 yo boy who now finds himself with 2 moms and 2 dads and instant younger siblings after being an only child for so many years. He is looking forward to Angela coming home for ComiCon next week. She is still a sister instead of a mom.
post #49 of 64
My DD and DS are 4 years apart and they really dote on each other. Other than the occasional toy squabble, they get along absolutely beautifully. She has never been aggressive to him in her life, which amazes me. I was worried about the age difference, but at least so far, it's been wonderful. DD was high-needs and I really wasn't ready till she was fairly old.
post #50 of 64
my sister and I are 3.5 - 4 years apart. While I can remember fighting like crazy when we were younger, we also got along very well. Right now she's one of the two people in my life that I can confide in (the other being dh). We have totally opposite personalties.

I'm 8 years older than my little brother, and have always had a more parently relationship with him-- he's not calling me up for gf advice like he does my sister, but he calls me for more serious things. We didn't 'play' together growing up, it was much more like a parent child relationship. But I love him more than I can say.

The closest brother and sister I know are 10 years apart.
post #51 of 64
DD1 is 5 years 8 months older than DD2. MOST of the time they get along great. DD1 is 10 now and DD2 is 3.5 and of course DD1 gets tired of DD2 getting into her stuff. LOL Usually, they play great.
DS is 4 years 1 month older than DD2. They also get along great most of the time. I'm amazed at how long they can play together.

Both DD1 and DS were thrilled when we brought DD2 home. I really can't think of any major jealousy or problems. They loved helping me with her and couldn't get enough of being with her.

I'm hoping it goes so well adding in DS2. DD2 is 3.5 and DS2 should be here any day now (I'm almost 38 weeks now). She is thrilled. Talks to him and plays with him in my belly already. She is so sad that she won't go to the birth center with us because she wants to help with diapers. LOL She's looking forward to sharing nursie also.
post #52 of 64
This isn't me, but my sister has two kids that are 6 years apart. They didn't plan it that way, but had a lot of trouble conceiving. She loves it. Her son was so excited for his baby sister and was a huge help when she was a baby. They bottle-fed and he was able to give her bottles and would help change diapers. He would race inside off the school bus to love on his sister.

Now, they're almost 10 years old and 3 years old. They're still really close, but he definitely has that annoying little sister thing going on right now. I think it's more about their age than anything else. He is trying to be more independent and she is trying to be a big kid and tags along with him.

My brother and I are also 6 years apart, but he's the fifth child and I'm the sixth. We did not get along at all growing up. I wasn't a planned baby, so my mom was always telling my brother that he would be her baby forever because he was the youngest. Then, I came along and he wasn't the baby anymore. It was a big adjustment for him and he really didn't like me until he was an adult.
post #53 of 64
I have 3 siblings and I am closest to my sister that is 6 years older. Growing up I was closer to my brother who is 2 years younger, we did everything together but as we got older that changed and even now we don't talk much. I think there are too many variables and in some cases big gaps work, othertimes the don't. My son is 2 and I always thought we'd have the next one soon after but it hasn't happened. I don't think I could have handled 2 under 2 and I'm glad my son will actually get to have that real big brother role.
post #54 of 64
I just wanted to thank everyone who posted. We are pregnant with our first and for financial reasons would like to have our next child several years down the road. We may change our minds, but we only know what it is like to be siblings that are close in age, so this thread was really helpful to me. I agree that individual personalities and each family dynamic are the biggest factors for sure!
post #55 of 64
Our girls are 7.5 years apart, it is a little wider gap then I first imagined - though I have enjoyed every minute of it. DD1 is confident about her place in our family and her roles and responsibilities. She excells at school and other sports and activities, and has lots of friends in a wide range of ages. DD2 is 1.5 and her personality shines...her big sis is a wonderful role model and they enjoy their time together immensly. There are always going to be moments of sibiling rivery, no matter what the age range is...we talk through our feelings the best we can and encourage each as individuals! I think the toughest part for dd1 is that we slowed down a bit - meaning that she doesn't get to take every dance class offered and join all the clubs and that sort of thing...but from a parent's stand point - it is the best decision we've made. We were too busy and now we get to enjoy more family time at home and she decides what is really important to her and makes the choice. All in all - if I could do it all over again - I wouldn't chnage a thing - well timing wise at least!! Good Luck!
post #56 of 64
My brother and I are almost 6 years apart. I am 28 and he is 22. We got along great as young kids, shared a room from his birth until I was about 11. We had our own rooms we when moved to our new house when I was 8 (bro was 2) but we preferred to share a room and had our parents put bunk beds in one room and used the other room as a play room/toy room.
From the time I went into middle school until I graduated highschool, we didn't always get along, actually there was a lot of fights and arguments during that time. But when I left for college we missed each other and have been closer since. Now we live in different states but still get along quite well. We talk on the phone and e-mail and when we see each other it's great. So I guess I can't say it was all roses and happy days, but it was a good start, and good latter time, but in the middle was rough! So there's my story! :-)

Now Kate's. Kate is #3 in her family her oldest brother is 11 years old than her and her next oldest brother is 9 years older than her, her younger brother is only 2years younger. She gets along very well with her oldest brother, they have always had a very close relationship. Her and her younger brother had the typical sibling issues, fighting and arguing quite a bit. So in her family's case the gap made them closer, where the ones who are closer in age have had more rivalry.
post #57 of 64
My first two (a boy, then a girl) are 3 yrs, 7 mos apart in age. My 2nd and third (a boy) are 5 years apart. So from oldest to youngest re almost 9 years! We love everything about the age spread in our family-- wouldn't even know where to begin because we haven't seen a down-side at all!
post #58 of 64
Jumping in to say our two oldest are almost 20 and almost 16, then we've got an 8yo and a 1yo and we're ttc for our 5th. So, ours are VERY spread out for various reasons, and I think they all get along just fine. The 16yo dotes on his younger sisters, and ITA w/pp about giving permission to NOT like each other! Sometimes he just needs to be left alone, sometimes the 8yo doesn't want to be near the baby. It's all ok!

HTH, I don't think it's the age difference that matters as much as the parenting style, ykwim?
post #59 of 64
I'm glad to read all of these stories! We're not even sure when we'll add #2 to the family and dd is almost 4. I really like having all of this one-on-one time with her. She's very mature and totally out of the baby stage. She weaned herself at 3 and I never had to worry about going through a pregnancy while nursing. She can put herself to sleep at night, she can help me with things around the house, she can entertain herself for a long time... I personally would prefer to never have kids closer than 3.5 years apart for this reason. my daughter was also somewhat high-needs and my PPAF didn't return for over 2 years, so I guess I'm not cut out to have closely spaced babies.
post #60 of 64
My DH is the baby, 7 years younger than his sister. They had a great relationship as children, and he adores her. She actually has been very distant on account of the family that she married into, DH will actually cry because he misses her. That is an unfortunate circumstance, but they were best friends growing up and you can tell they still really love each other.

My MIL is 15 years older than her brother. They still have a wonderful relationship. She essentially did most of the "dirty work" when he was a baby, and she has fond memories of being a caregiver for him.

I could go on, big age gaps are very common in my DH's family and I have not heard any negative stories.
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